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Pimps of Joytime puts the needle in the groove with its fresh collection of 10 funk anthems ready to put a smile on faces across the globe. An intersection of Brooklyn's indie music scene, New Orleans funk and San Francisco soul, the Pimps' new studio release Third Wall Chronicles (Sugar Road Records: March 24, 2017) unites us around a common bond of Peace, Love and Music. The apex of positivity and a solace from the daily grind shines bright as the Pimps of Joytime throw the dance party of the year on Third Wall Chronicles and everyone is invited!
Akin to icons such as Prince and Stevie Wonder -- who were at the helm of studio production while laying down instrument and vocal tracks for their lauded recordings -- Pimps' lead man Brian Jay is the mastermind behind the sonic veil on Third Wall Chronicles. A Williamsburg, Brooklyn resident since debuting Pimps at Nickodemus' infamous "Turntables on the Hudson" party (The Frying Pan, NYC) in the mid-2000's, he pulls equal inspiration from simply one man singing with an acoustic guitar to infusing a Brooklyn DJ attitude with NOLA funk and the vocal stylings of the great soul singers of the '50s and '60s.
Brian Jay is no stranger to working with A-List talent in the studio as he's produced albums for a "who's who" of New Orleans heavyweights, including such stars as Cyril Neville (The Neville Brothers), James Andrews, Bernard "Pretty" Purdie (The World's Most Recorded Drummer), and Corey Henry (Galactic). He's shared the stage with Art Neville, George Porter and Zigaboo Modeliste (The Meters), Eddie Bo, and he's currently working on an album with GRAMMY Award-nominated blues artist Cedric Burnside (grandson of legendary blues musician R.L. Burnside). Brian Jay co-produces Third Wall Chronicles with Los Lobos' Steve Berlin. Co-writers on the album also include Anthony Cole (JJ Grey & Mofro), Nappy G (Turntables on the Hudson), DJ Black Pearl, and Chancey Yearwood.
"Brian Jay is a bit of a genius," say Steve Berlin. "It was a blast just coming in and making a few things larger and more colorful. He has the remarkable ability to get an idea, get a sound and make it real at a speed that I've never seen before."
Third Wall Chronicles is as much a personal quest as a statement about breaking down walls to unleash love, creativity, and bringing people together. The album opens up with Anthony Cole's penned "This Funk," which Brian Jay unleashed from the mound of Cole's '90s demos. Related to Nat King Cole, Anthony is a Detroit-raised "dark lord of the funk" (as Brian Jay would refer to him). Cole lends harmony vocals to half the songs featured on Third Wall Chronicles. "Play" appeared in a dream; upon awakening, Brian Jay had the pre-chorus and medley already in his head. He credits having seen UK-based band Jungle at NYC's SummerStage as the spark for the layered unison falsetto vocals on the track.
"On Tap" and "Little Bit Of Something" puts the spotlight on Brian Jay's untethered vocals. Two songs emulating the intoxication of love and the desires of holding onto a lover even when it might be time to let go. "She knows how to set me off, fire like a molotov, it's alchemy, better than cocaine, whisky, weed," sings Brian Jay on "On Tap."
"Jack Stackin" showcases Brian Jay's production style of pulling samples from his vast catalogue of recordings for base elements while layering atop, in this case, vocals through a super lo-fi mic purchased for $40 at a thrift shop. The song's groove was conceived while flying 30,000 miles high, and once back in the studio, samples of horns and the second line beat with its heavy emphasis on the 4, shape the track. The song was co-written with longtime collaborator and former Pimps band member Chancey Yearwood.
"There's a soulful G spot that I am forever trying to please with vintage tones or even a single note on the guitar," says Brian Jay. "I'm always trying to get off in a musical sense. I love a fat groove that has some stank on it, but centered around the best song I can possibly compose."
Co-written with Nappy G, "Reverend Soul" celebrates the life of a dear friend Solange a.k.a. Reverend Soul who was tragically killed in a bicycling accident in 2009. With enough time passing, Brian Jay produces this tribute track centered around a chant of her name that initiated from jam sessions following her passing.
"Mud" features a standout collaboration with keyboardist/vocalist Ivan Neville that delivers a reactive narrative to the shocking results of the recent Presidential election. Brian Jay sings, "I'm doing alright despite the dark energies that I see and feel. Don't need a doctor, maybe a shaman to see beyond the veil. Doing alright despite the static and degradation. The mind trip, amnesia, sometime before the dawn and I’m traveling through the Muddy Water."
Afrobeat and a heavy dose of Tame Impala in rotation on his latest playlists influence "Everywhere I Go," which brings forth the EDM side of the Pimps of Joytime. "Neara To Your Fire" is a pop-inflected song with all the right elements to be the feel-good jam of the spring. The finale is a collaboration with NOLA's DJ Black Pearl, "Joytime Radio," a track that summons the influence of Shuggie Otis on Brian Jay's vocal and electric guitar work.
Third Wall Chronicles is the Pimps Of Joytime's fourth full-length studio album and features standout performances by fellow Pimps band members Mayteana Morales (vocals), Kimberly Dawson (vocals), David Bailis (drums) and John Staten (guitar). Pimps of Joytime will headline venerable West Coast venues in February and March 2017 with MarchFourth before heading to the East Coast for their national album release event at The Bowery Ballroom on March 25, 2017.